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The Addict Self is a False Self. The True Self is Who You Are

I was in an AA meeting once and someone said “The disease talks to me.” Being in very early recovery, I had no clue what he was talking about.

Year later, I began to recognize the sound of the “Voice”. It said things like, “I’d only be hurting myself.” or “I know I screwed up the last time, but this time I’ll be able to control it.” But these thoughts seemed to come from outside of me. The disease had, in fact, begun to talk to me. But I had had enough recovery to have developed a new, whole sense of myself that was able to just observe these voices and not act on them.  Sometimes, they even made me laugh.

Many years have passed and I now am a sex addiction therapist. I work with people to try to help them separate their non-addict from the “Voice” that had once haunted me. I can see that the “Voice” lies to them. Unfortunately, they’re not always always able to see it until they get a little more sex addiction treatment under their belt.

Sex addiction therapy eventually gives them them skills and strategies so the True Self can prevail over the Addict Self. Relationships with objects and events that are mood-altering appeal to the sex addict because of the emotionally traumatic relationships in his childhood. He fears being re-traumatized and so relies only on himself to get his needs met. The sex addict molds his attitudes and behaviors of his adult life in emotional reaction to events that occurred many, many years ago.

The sex addict has an immature self, seeking immediate gratification to emotional problems in prostitutes, phone sex or Internet porn. Sex relieves pain, emptiness, depression and self-loathing. The “Voice” of The Addict tells him that sexual arousal will bring him wholeness, comfort, peace, safety and fulfillment. But here’s the thing about the “Voice” – it always lies. Addictions always lie to us. 

The power of the addictive state tells the sex addict that he feels empowered, recognized, desired, attended to – states he did NOT experience in childhood. But an addictive state is a dissociative state. That means it’s split off from the authentic self. It’s illusionary – based on fantasy, hopes and dreams. And, it’s transitory.

The “Erotic Haze”, which is the playground of the Sex Addict Self is a state dissociated from the True Self.  As I’m sure you know, it is a state of intense sexual arousal, pleasure, and empowerment.  And it’s alluring, compelling, seductive.  Time spent in the “Erotic Haze” of fantasy and intense sexual pleasure is time that the person feels no stress, responsibility, obligation or negative feelings that he sometimes feels when he’s in the “real world”.

However, in the “Erotic Haze”, the True Self is not in control. It does not have the power of choice, and is unable to make decisions for his own best interest. It is the Addict Self – the self that is always wanting, wanting, wanting and is never truly sated – that is the captain of the ship.

Eventually, faced with defeat, the Addict Self pits himself against his deep need to have his emotional needs met from childhood and he loses the fight. (Because those needs, belonging to a time long ago, can NEVER be met.)

Once again, in a seemingly endless pattern, he has believed the false promise of emotional security, and closeness through a pathological relationship to a mood-altering experience. Once again, he is hopelessly addicted to sex. The high of the Erotic Haze has dissolved into the fleeting sensations they’ve always been. Nothing but shame and remorse. Nothing truly gratifying. Nothing substantial. Nothing of value. Nothing authentic. Emptiness — again.

Home Page: http://sextreatment.com//

Related Link:

Control Your Destiny: See The “Addict” as Not “You/Dorothy Hayden, LCSW” —  sextreatment.com/the-true-you-is-not-your-addict-you/

How to Become Your True Self | Psychology Today —   https://www.psychologytoday.com/…/how-become-yo

You are Enough: A Tiny Manual for Being Your True Self – Tiny Buddha   tinybuddha.com/…/you-are-enough-a-tiny-manual-for-being-yourtrues






Dorothy Hayden, LCSW has 20 years of experience treating sex and porn addicts, love addiction, codependency, fetishes, sadomasochism, "kink friendly", crossdressers and their wives, partners of sex addicts. She has been interviewed on "HBO", "20/20" and Anderson Cooper 360. Ms. Hayden has authored the book "Total Sex Addiction Recovery - A Guide to Therapy"

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